This has to be Italy's favourite dessert and one of the best sellers in our restaurants. The coffee, alcohol and deliciously creamy mascarpone cheese give the dish its power as a 'pick me up'.
The original Savoiardi biscuits it's made with are from Piedmont, and are thicker than most lady fingers, but either kind will do. If you want to make it child-friendly, use decaffeinated coffee and leave out the alcohol.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
400g mascarpone cheese
5 large eggs, separated
120g caster sugar
200g Savoiardi or lady finger biscuits
200ml espresso coffee, at room temperature
30ml Marsala wine, brandy or rum
In a small bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese until it is soft.
In a larger mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with about two-thirds of the sugar until it is pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the softened mascarpone.
In another bowl beat the egg whites with the rest of the sugar and a pinch of salt until they form fairly stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
Mix the coffee and liqueur together. Line a serving bowl evenly with the biscuits in one layer. Drizzle with half the coffee mixture.
Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits and smooth it into an even layer with a spatula. Repeat with another layer of biscuits, coffee and mascarpone.
Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder.
Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least two hours before serving.
Recipe taken from The ASK Italian Cookbook which contains over 100 authentic recipes and is raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. It has been edited by prize-winning food writer Carla Capalbo with special recipes from TV chef and Italian cooking expert Theo Randall. The cookbook can be purchased from ASK Italian restaurants for £10 with £4 from each sale going to the GOSH children's charity.